Saturday, August 29, 2009

This is getting to be a joke...

There are new revelations on Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Christie that involve his extensive bad driving record, which I have outlined:

Chris Christie's driving history (since 1985):-- Sept. 9, 1985: Involved in a motor vehicle accident, no town listed, no violation-- Dec. 20, 1985: 3-point violation for improper right and left turns in Bloomfield -- June 16, 1986: 2-point speeding violation for driving 49 mph in a 35 mph zone in Summit-- June 22, 1986: 4-point speeding violation for driving 71 mph in a 55 mph zone in West Amwell-- March 1, 1987: Billed for the first year of a three-year surcharge for excessive license points (what Christie paid per year was not specified, but the 2009 rate is $150 per year for six points and $25 for each additional point)-- March 6, 1988: Billed for the second-year surcharge-- Feb. 19, 1989: Billed for the third and final year of the surcharge-- Dec. 13, 1989: Involved in a motor vehicle accident in Cranford, no violation-- May 1, 1990: 4-point speeding violation for driving 75 mph in a 55 mph zone in Union Township-- June 18, 1990: 4-point speeding violation for driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone in Newark-- March 1, 1991: Billed for the first year of a three-year surcharge for excessive license points-- March 1, 1992: Billed for the second-year surcharge-- March 1, 1993: Billed for the third and final year of the surcharge-- March 15, 1993: Involved in a motor vehicle accident in Bloomfield, no violation-- Oct. 7, 1995: 2-point speeding violation for driving 69 mph in a 55 mph zone in East Brunswick-- Nov. 6, 1996: No-point violation for failure to obey a directional signal in Paramus; on the same day, he is involved in an accident in Bloomfield, no violation-- Feb. 26, 1998: 2-point speeding violation for driving 44 mph in a 30 mph zone in Harding-- April 28, 2000: No-point violation for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle in Morris Township-- Sept. 22, 2000: 4-point speeding ticket for driving 43 mph in a 25 mph zone in Greenwich-- July 26, 2002: Involved in a motor vehicle accident in Elizabeth, no violation issued-- Sept. 24, 2005: No-point violation for unsafe operation of a motor vehicle in Lambertville-- July 1, 2006: No-point violation for obstructing passage of another vehicle in Southampton Township-- Sept. 28, 2007: Involved in a motor vehicle accident in Netcong, no violation-- Jan. 23, 2009: Seat belt violation in Morristown, no points

Source: New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

For someone charged with prosecuting those who break the law, Christie's M.O. seems to be "do as I say, not as I do".

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The stench is getting stronger day-by-day...

While the Christie campaign thinks this is a laughing matter, it raises an important question. How can we trust Chris Christie with the governorship, if as the state's chief law enforcement officer:
1) he was stupid enough to be driving an unregistered, uninsured auto
2) he endangered the lives of others by speeding (58 mph in a 40 mph zone)
3) he tried to use the influence of his office to get out of a ticket

Also in the car were his wife, children and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown, who resigned from her post on Tuesday "after Christie's $46,000 loan to her became a campaign issue." The only thing more bizarre would be for Christie to have stood on the roof of the car and yelled "Get in my belly!"

Closer to home, shortly before taking office, our own Committeeman Howard Popper was ticketed for speeding on Washington Township roads. Look what a disaster he has turned out to be.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Township Committee special meeting.

The Township Committee has scheduled a special meeting for September 1, 2009 at 7:30 PM to reveal details of the county dispatch agreement. I plan to attend and ask questions including this one:

"Mr. Popper, in October of 2007, you stood before voters as a candidate for township committee and stated (while reading from a legal pad) the county dispatch center would save taxpayers over $600K in the first year. How does this proposed contract reconcile with your prior statement?"

Should be interesting...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The wheels are starting to come off the bus...

According to a conservative GOP pollster, Christie's big lead in the polls has gone by the wayside faster than Howard Popper's "Lower Taxes Now" campaign pledge! Check it out.

Finally...Part II

Received a message from the township stating the link are now contained in the agenda, which again was posted a week after the meeting. Let's see if the committee can manage to get it right next month. In the meantime I'll be submitting an OPRA request for a copy of the county dispatch agreement once it is ratified by all parties. One can only wonder how much we are being taken to the cleaners.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Finally...but where are the links?

Finally received a reply from the township on why the agenda for the August Regular meeting wasn't published PRIOR to the meeting. Seems this was an administrative error. I'll be sure to try this should my next property tax payment arrive after the deadline. I wonder if the tax collector will forgive the interest due? (Just kidding A.M.)

While its nice to have gotten a timely reply, what hasn't been explained is why there are no links in the posted agenda to the resolutions contained within? This was a major critique of then committee candidate Howard Popper who preached transparency. Why then is Republican Committeeman Popper not on top of insuring agendas are posted prior to meetings, the links to the resolutions are contained within these agendas and minutes of these meetings are approved and published in a timely manner?

Takaway - Howard Popper has yet to live up to anything he promised. No "lower taxes now"; no increased transparency; no local ethics board; no $600K savings in dispatch operations; no nothing!

Still waiting...

Last Tuesday I posted a note about the lack of a published agenda for this month's Regular Township Committee meeting held on August 17th. You would think by now someone at town hall would have at least posted what was to be discussed, even if this were to occur post the discussion. I wonder what the excuse will be this time?

This raises an obvious question. What is Ken Short and the the rest of his incompetent committee hiding? What details of the upcoming county dispatch agreement are they afraid to share with the public? What happened to Howard Popper's vow of full transparency? Other than raise our municipal taxes this year by the largest amount in three years, has the Township Committee done anything of note in 2009?

These are important questions that deserve answers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The stink on Christie

With news of an unreported $46K loan to a top aide, Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie continues to demonstrate ethical lapses. The NYT outlines his early failures and complete abandonment of efforts to bring ethics reform to Morris County. All this on top of the disclosure he had contact with Karl Rove regarding his political intentions while serving as a federal prosecutor, a clear violation of the Hatch Act.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What are they hiding?

As a follow-up to my prior post on the lack of transparency of our Township Committee, can someone please explain why the agenda for today's (August 17) Regular meeting was not published prior to the meeting? How is the public suppose to know what will be covered? Why are there no published minutes since the April Regular meeting? It's been 3 months! What is it Ken Short doesn't want us to know about? All during my term local Republicans operatives constantly complained about the delay in posting meeting minutes (even though the responsibility for doing this fell on one of their own). The lack of interest in full transparency is not surprising given the consistent hypocrisy of WT Republicans.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Non Transparency in (WT) Government Act

After reading this article, I am shocked Washington Township is not among those who have endorsed the proposed "Transparency in Government Act". One would think after all the "ethics" talk from Howard Popper and James Harmon during their campaigns, this would be a no brainer. But just like Popper's vow to create a local ethics committee and put committee meetings on local TV, a real commitment to transparency has landed on top of his pile of unfulfilled campaign promises.

By the way, it was during my service (2006-2008) as the committee's Finance Liaison, when the municipal budget first appeared online. In fact, prior to my service, committeemen never received or reviewed financial reports on a monthly basis.

Lastly, having been in office for 8 months now, can anyone name a single accomplishment of James Harmon? By this time in my term I had already recommended over one million dollars in approved savings from the municipal and district school budgets. All we've heard from Jim is that he is impressed with how much the committee debated whether or not to cancel a $35 magazine subscription. Thanks Jim!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Is this the making of another Ken Short screw-up?

How many of you would by a house or a piece of real estate sight unseen? Well it seems this is what Mayor Ken Short and Committeeman Howard Popper are willing to do when it comes to the new dispatch contract with the County. So much so, when asked questions about the pending agreement during last night’s Township Committee Work Session, Mayor Short stated the County would not answer any more questions until AFTER the contract is signed. Have you ever heard of anything so absurd?

Everyone knows the list of Ken Short “screw-ups” is a long one, including the 2005 11% tax increase debacle, the long delay in the Black Oak golf course, and the missed opportunity to sell millions of dollars worth of land due to the false hope of a poorly conceived "community center", it is not surprising Ken Short is about to sell out township taxpayers once again.

Isn’t it time for someone on the Committee to demand answers from the County BEFORE we agree to give them more of our hard earned tax dollars? This is what happens when a single party has total control of a governing body. No due diligence, no accountability, no nothing!
Perhaps some members of the committee should familiarize themselves with the state's recall procedures, as failure to protect the taxpayer's interest is certainly a reason to have to face voters a year or two earlier than expected.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Who is picking up the tab?

Here is a clear example of how some folks in Washington Township want to have their cake and eat it too. For a township dominated by Republicans who constantly complain about the role of government and the need to reduce spending and cut taxes, why do we have two post offices in Long Valley? Is it so people have a second place they can "call home", aka social networking?

This reminds me of the idiots who attend these health care town hall, bitch about a "public option", yet put up their hands when asked if they are on Medicare and think it's a good deal.

Catch up with the gossip via a Facebook account or go to Starbucks so we can close these unnecessary post offices. That way the taxpayer isn't picking up the tab.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It is not that hard to beleive

In last week's Observer Tribune, township resident Robert Curtis says the following regarding Mayor Short's and Committeeman Popper's efforts to close the communications center:

'Two years and they don't have any answers, that is hard to believe.'

Truth be told Robert, it's not that hard to believe at all. Having served with both Ken Short and Howard Popper on the Committee, I can tell you they are two of the most incompetent elected officials I have ever come across. In the case of Howard Popper, why else do you think he was passed over for the position of Finance Chair (by a Republican mayor) during his first year on the committee?

And by the way, Mr. Curtis does exist.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The GOP's gamble will backfire

With signs pointing to an end to the recession, the GOP will find itself in a very uncomfortable position over the next 15 months or so. With a much larger portion of the stimulus funding kicking in this quarter, the economy will perform stronger than expected. This will spell doom for the GOP in 2010 as it will have to defend its staunch opposition (all but three Republican lawmakers voted "NO") to a package that essentially cleaned up a mess they created.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

John R. Bolton...please shut up!

Republican neocon John R. Bolton wrote an op-ed in today's Washington Post where he labels Bill Clinton's trip to North Korea as "unwise". Perhaps he should tell this to the families of the two American journalists who were released as a result of Mr. Clinton's efforts. The posted comments pertaining to this idiot's ideological position are priceless!

Happy Birthday...Mr. President!

Today is President Barack Obama's birthday! 48 years ago on this date, he was born in Honolulu, HI, the 50th state in the union. Here is nice opinion piece by Pulitzer prize winning columnist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post on the whole "birther" issue.

While the vast majority of Democrats (93%) and Independents (83%) have no doubt the President is a natural born citizen, leave it to the GOP to have only a minority (42%) who believe this as well. The other 58% of Republicans are so stupid they aren't sure or think otherwise. Sadly, I suspect the percentage is even higher within Washington Township's GOP membership, as many of these same folks supported James Harmon; who promptly returned their favor by voting for this year's local tax increase. An increase LARGER than ANY of the ones I voted for.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yes, we are watching...

It's no secret the township is itching to ink a deal with the county for EMS dispatch. Republican Committeemen Short and Popper made big promises in terms of savings, which now they seem unable to deliver. The number that should be used to gauge success is the $600K savings figure then committeeman candidate Howard Popper promised during his 2006 campaign. At the time, I was the only committeeman who challenged this prediction. None of the GOP committeemen took issue with Howard's prediction. With legal pad in hand, Popper insisted the township would save this amount in the first year by moving to the county. I see a denial from Popper, in the near future! Most of the initial savings was built on the naive notion the county would purchase existing communication assets owned by the township to help defray start up costs with the county. Predicatively, the county doesn't seem interested in purchasing these assets. It was bad thinking and poor planning by Short and Popper to assume the county would buy them in the first place.

As soon as the contact is signed, I will submit an OPRA request for a copy and post it on this blog (along with my analysis and insights) so the public can see if we are getting a good deal or not.